In the crosshairs

'Supermoon' lights up night sky over Blenheim

Last updated 09:01 12/08/2014
SuperMoon
ANTHONY PHELPS
VERY FULL MOON: The steeple of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Blenheim is illuminated by the rising 'supermoon' on Sunday night.

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A  near ‘‘supermoon’’ rises over the steeple of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Blenheim on Sunday night. 

A supermoon is when a full moon or a new moon is at the closest point the moon gets to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth.

The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system.

The moon’s distance varies each month between 357,000 kilometres and 406,000km due to its elliptical orbit around the Earthn.

According to Nasa, a full moon at perigee is up to 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than one at its farthest point.

Sunday’s supermoon was the closest and brightest of the five supermoons this year, with the fifth and final one for 2014 on September 10.

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- The Marlborough Express

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